423 – Couscous with Seven Vegetables / كسكس سبع خضار

Ingredients

Couscous Ingredients:

  • 500 grams dry couscous (not instant)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or Moroccan smen)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Water

Meat Ingredients:

  • 500 grams lamb or beef, cut into large pieces
  • 1 tomato, grated and skin discarded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • A large pinch saffron threads
  • A bouquet of fresh parsley and cilantro, tied together
  • 2 cups dry chickpeas, soaked overnight

Vegetables:

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 turnips
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2 of a small cabbage
  • 1-2 small sections of pumpkin
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • You can also use fresh fava beans, potatoes, or other vegetables of your choice.

Directions

Step 1: Prep Vegetables
1- Peel and cut the veggies

Step 2: Prepare Meat
1- In the bottom of the couscous pot, combine the meat, olive oil, saffron, turmeric, ground ginger, pepper, and salt. Add the chopped onion, and mix. Brown the meat for a few minutes, then add the grated tomato and the fresh herbs.
2- Cover the meat with water. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the rest of the ingredients.
3- Cover the pot and let the meat cook for around 20 minutes and start preparing your couscous.

Step 3: Prepare Couscous
1- Place the couscous in a large plate, I am using the Moroccan traditional couscous plate called Gasaa.
2- Add some cold water, and work the couscous… lift the grains, rub them, give them some love and make sure they are all coated with water.
3- place the couscous top over a plate, to minimize kitchen mess, and transfer the couscous in the couscous top. Don’t worry, the moist couscous grains wont fall through the holes… I promise.

Step 4: Steam Couscous – Round 1
1- After cooking the meat for 20 minutes, place the couscous top over the couscous bottom. Seal both pots with a cheesecloth or foil, this way we don’t lose any steam.
2- After 5 minutes of so, you will notice steam rising from the couscous. Now start your timer, and let the couscous steam for 15 minutes.
3- Time’s up! Empty the couscous in the large plate, and gently break the couscous grains with a fork. We dont want any lumps.
4- Add vegetable oil, and continue fluffing the couscous.
5- Add a large pinch of salt. Mix.
6- Now add a little bit of water, and continue fluffing.
7- Let the couscous rest while you start cooking the veggies!

Step 5: Cook Root Vegetables
1- Cook the root vegetables first: carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. These require more cooking time.
2- Place them with the meat and add boiling water to cover it all.

Step 6: Steam Couscous – Round 2
1- Transfer the couscous in the couscous top and place it back over the meat. Seal both pots.
2- After 5 minutes of so, you will notice steam rising from the couscous. Now start your timer again, and let the couscous steam for 15 minutes.
3- Time’s up! Empty the couscous in the large plate and fluff.
4- Add a little bit of water and gently break all the lumps with a fork.
5- Let the couscous rest for 5 minutes while you are cooking the other vegetables.

Step 7: Cook the Other Vegetables
1- First let’s check on the root vegetables. My carrots still need a bit more cooking time… but the turnips and sweet potatoes are ready! It’s time to remove them from the pot and place them in a plate.
2- Let’s add the other vegetables: zucchini, pumpkin, and cabbage.

Step 8: Steam Couscous – Round 3
1- Transfer the couscous in the couscous top and place it back over the meat. Seal both pots.
2- Let the couscous steam for 15 minutes or until done.
3- Empty the couscous in the large plate, and fluff again with butter (or Moroccan Smen)!

Step 9: Check Meat & Vegetables
1- Check the veggies and remove the ones that are ready out of the pot.
2- Remove the herbs and discard.
3- Check on the meat… mine still needs some cooking.
4- Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning: salt and pepper
5- In my case, I will close the pot and let the meat cook a bit more.
6- Time for all the veggies to come back to the pot.

Step 10: Plate Couscous
1- First place the couscous grains in a dome shape.
2- Pour some of the broth over the couscous grains.
3- Place the meat in the center. Arrange the veggies around and on top of the couscous.
4- In a separate bowl, pour the broth and serve on the side